‘Tis the Season

For millions, April 15th is the worst day of the year.

Taxpayers have dreaded this day since early January. From employer W-2s to investor 1099s to all those pesky receipts and notes, tax-day is usually a day we look forward to like we look forward to dental work or an appendectomy.

Not only do we have to pay the government (or ask them, nicely, for our overpayment back), but we have to fill out endless forms and filings to prove that we have the right number. And to add insult to injury, over 1 ½ million of us will be audited next year. The IRS will say, in effect, we don’t believe you. Prove it.

I suppose that it’s inevitable in an open society like ours that some people will try to cheat the system and “free ride” on law-abiding taxpaying citizens. But it’s galling to think of mega-cheats like Madoff and Dreier while the IRS examines the details of some poor Joe’s credit card write-off.

One thing April 15th does is focus the mind. It’s at least one day a year when people ask whether they’re getting the government that they paid for.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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